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One of the first things I noticed about being a mom in the summer time is how little the children actually want to stay home. That is until I came up with a few ways to make our own outdoor space just as much fun as the city park or pool.
10 ways to Create A Summer Fun Backyard
1. Have a swing set.
It does not have to be fancy nor expensive, I have known people who have even found them free on free cycle. There is just something about having a swing and a slide in your own back yard
2.Have a sand area
It can be a small storage tub with a lid if you live in an apartment and a deck is your only outdoor space, or a huge sand box if you have a large backyard. Just add some hotwheels to drive in it , a few plastic animals to bury, a shovel, a sifter and a pail and the children will keep busy in it for hours.
3. Include a water feature
Sprinkler, small wading pool, slip and slid, really it does not matter what, just include water in your outdoor space. Last year I bought my daughter 2 $8 wading pools one for her and one for her friend and they played for hours in them.
4. Let them have a ball
Basket balls, tennis balls, beach balls, even ping pong balls will work. Several is best. One trick I learned in my daycare days is to buy two inexpensive beach balls cut out the top of one, and stick the other one inside and blow it up. This makes for a very strong ball that will last all season long (as long as you put it away when they are finished so the wind does not blow it away).
Another fun idea, is to fill a child’s wading pool with inexpensive plastic ping pong balls found at dollar stores. Just the bottom will do.
5. Bubbles are a must
6. Sidewalk chalk is always a hit
If you don’t have a concrete area for sidewalk chalk consider painting a board or even a portion of your fence with chalk paint.
7. Wheels are fun at any age
Toddlers love push cars, preschoolers love tricycles. Older children love not just bikes but scooters, skateboards and roller skates. Yard sales are great places to pick up these items, and if you can swing it a spare for visiting friends.
8. Places to Sit
This is mostly a tip for moms and dads. You will want to have a place to sit and supervise that preferably has some shade.
Children also love seating areas. I know when I ran a daycare one of the favorite spots outside was a plastic child sized picnic table where I placed play dough or sometimes I taped paper to the top of it and set out crayons. These tables can often be found at yard sales or through Craigslist.
9. Paint brushes and water pails
Let the kids paint each other and the whole yard…with water! Toddler’s love this. You can get huge paint brushes in the paint aisle at the big box stores for very inexpensive prices, and an empty ice-cream bucket with a handle works just fine as a bucket.
Every child loves a fort, and if you don’t have a perfect tree in your backyard for one buy an inexpensive easy to collapse tent instead (keep your eyes out at yard sales for these too). Add a few old blankets to the inside and you child will have hours of fun.
These are just 10 things to add to your yard for summer fun but I am sure there are more, what would you add to the list?
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